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[Preview] The End of Mankind is Near in ′Doomsday Book′

Rating Rating more One Star

2012.04.05 19:28 Mwave Choi, EunHwa Translation Credit : Ju Ahn Lee

Doomsday Book will soon be released nearly six years after the start of its production, which was halted due to budget issues. Although time has passed, a simple truth can be discovered from within the movie. The greed and desire of mankind have destroyed the nature and crumbled the natural order of the ecosystem, welcoming the occurrence of rare phenomenons all over the world.

[Preview] The End of Mankind is Near in ′Doomsday Book′

Lim Pil Sung, who directed Antarctic Journal, worked alongside Kim Ji Woon, known for his work in The Good, The Bad, The Weird, to convey the message that the desires of mankind may eventually lead to its own destruction. The three separate but related stories - ‘Brave New World’, ‘Heavenly Creation’ and ‘Happy Birthday’ - in the Sci-Fi fantasy movie will be shown through an omnibus format. Each story will contain a separate theme and viewers will be able to see the relationship that will lead to the destruction of mankind within the three stories.

The film boasts many character actors, strengthening its appeal with the public, and the cast includes Ryu Seung Bum, Kim Kang Soo, Song Sae Byuk, Song Young Chang, Kim Gyuri, Kim Seo Hyung and Go Joon Hee. It will also include the voiceover work of Park Hae Il and a cameo appearance by director Bong Joon Ho.

[Preview] The End of Mankind is Near in ′Doomsday Book′

′Brave New World’

′Brave New World’ warns that the careless disposal of food waste will lead to the destruction of mankind. A bizarre virus appears as a result of humans consuming the livestock that feed upon the food waste. People are slowly turning into bloodthirsty zombies, welcoming the end of the mankind. The insatiable desire of men can be felt in a scene where a few men are seeking out Ballantines 30 Year Old Whiskeys and Johnny Walker Blues even as they are dying.

The development of ′Brave New World’ will remind viewers of several phenomenons that already occurred in Korea several years ago, such as the Mad Cow Disease and Avian influenza. Although director Lim asked the audience to watch the movie without getting caught up in the politics of the movie, viewers will find it hard to ignore the ample political references within the movie.

Moreover, Ryu’s amazing zombie transformation will be the highlight in ’Brave New World’. While there is always a noticeable distance between the emotions of zombies and humans, there was a constant effort by the production crew to decrease the discrepancies between the two. As such, the sluggish movement and awkward stance of the zombies showed no hints of awkwardness or sloppiness. And, rest assured, that the film will be the cornerstone of all future Korean zombie movies. Furthermore, Don Lee’s appearance, while minor, received much praise from viewers for his detailed and realistic zombie acting.

[Preview] The End of Mankind is Near in ′Doomsday Book′

′Heavenly Creation’

′Heavenly Creation’ shows a future society where robots have become replacements for human labor. The robots’ capabilities shine through in multiple areas, raising the question of their superiority over mankind. ′Heavenly Creation’ continues the aggressive message of the film. People, becoming wary of robots, oppose the robot manufacturer’s proposal to replace obsolete robots.

What’s worse is the fact that humans consider robots as a vital mental support. Thus the robots assume absolute control over their human creators and take over their consciousness. The fact that robots, and not humans, reach the state of nirvana signals the impending destruction of mankind.

′Heavenly Creation’ was directed by director Kim Ji Woon, with Kim Kang Woo appearing as the sympathetic robot engineer. Opposing his superior’s orders, his grave and dignified character imprints the seriousness of their situation to the audience. Kim Gyuri, Kim Seo Hyung and Song Young Chang’s appearance further add to the depth of the story.

[Preview] The End of Mankind is Near in ′Doomsday Book′

′Happy Birthday’

Director Lim’s ’Happy Birthday’ tells the story of how a replacement 8-ball from a shopping mall turns into a huge meteor heading towards Earth. A family goes inside an underground bunker and they will not see daylight for seven long years.

′Happy Birthday’ asks its viewers what they would do if the world were to come to an end tomorrow. Although the story hopes to provide absurd comedy for its audience, there is no clear answer and viewers are only left with a stifling feeling.

That said, ′Happy Birthday’ contains comic elements that were difficult to find in the two earlier stories. After hearing that the world was going to come to an end, news anchorwoman Lee Young Eun publicly reveals an affair with her married co-anchor Ryu Seung Soo. The viewers couldn’t help but laugh at Ryu’s embarrassed expression at the public disclosure of their affair. In addition, Go Joon Hee’s appearance as the idiotic weather forecaster, while short, was completely different from the characters in ‘Brave New World’ and left a lasting impression on viewers.

Overall, the movie’s message should easily get through to the audience. However, it remains to be seen if the audience will understand the reasoning behind the unfamiliar scenes of the three separate stories in the Sci-Fi film. There appears to be a limit to how far the talented cast can take the movie.

Photo credit: Kim Byung Kwan, Doomsday Book

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